WordPress Hooks and Filters

Presentation by Nick Batik, @Nick_Batik

Nick’s slides are available at http://presentations.handsonwp.com/category/wordpress-hooks-and-filters/

The WordPress page lifecycle

  • The events from when a web page is requested to when the page is returned to the browser
  • Various information is communicated to and from the server where the website is housed, including a user’s browser and cookie information, and the WP function is called, and the template loader is fired, ending with the page appearing in the browser
  • There are hundreds of files that are called in the construction of a page, and happens every time a visitor clicks on your site, and most happen within fractions of a second.
  • There are points in here where we can effect change.

What are hooks and how do they fit into the page lifecycle?

“Hooks enable us to literally hook into parts of the WordPress page lifecycle to retrieve, insert, or modify data, or they allow us to take certain actions behind the scenes.”

– Tom McFarlin @TUTSPLUS

  • Think of hooks like mailboxes, and you just need to find the correct mailbox to insert information.
  • Almost all of Genesis framework is built around adding and removing things from hooks and filters.
  • Technically, hooks are a description for two different types of things: actions and filters.
  • Action add or modify a sequence of events. Examples: removing comments; create landing page.
  • Filters are used to change data within your site. For example, you can filter that look for comments with profanity, or find and correct misspellings of your company name.

Actions and filters examples

There are actions to perform, add or remove actions from a page.

Action Hooks

  • do_action()
  • add_action()
  • remove_action()
  • has_action()
  • do_action_ref_array()
  • did_action()
  • remove_all_actions()

Using Action Hooks

  • do_action( ‘hook_name’, [$arg] );
  • add_action ( ‘hook_name’, ‘your_function_name’, [priority], [accepted_args] );
  • remove_action( ‘hook_name’, ‘your_function_name’, [$priority], [$accepted_args]);

Filters

  • apply_filters()
  • add_filter()
  • remove_filter()
  • has_filter()
  • current_filter()
  • merge_filters()
  • remove_all_filters()

Using Filters

  • apply_filters( ‘hook_name’, $value, [$var …] );
  • add_filter( ‘hook_name’, ‘function_to_ add’, [$priority], [$accepted_args] );
  • remove_filter( ‘hook_name’, ‘function_ to_remove’, [$priority], [$accepted_args ] );

A simple filter

add_filter(‘the_content’, ‘my_filter_function’, 10);

function my_filter_function($content) {
$output = '<div>'.$content.'</div>';
return $output;
}

More on hooks and filters

  • Hook provide places to either the operation of WordPress or the data it’s working on. Hook names, or tags, are how you identify what you’re going to be working on (the mailboxes). Hooks and actions are designed to modify what is happening in WordPress without having to modify the core installation of WordPress itself.
  • Many themes and plugins add their own hooks and filters to WordPress as well.
  • There’s an array, $wp_filter, that stores tags and associated filter or action functions.

Where can you learn what hooks and filters are out there?

Examples!

Using hooks and filters sometimes comes from trial and error. Whether the results of a hook shows up in the post editor or on the final page depends on how the hook is written.

For those that requested, her is the link to last month’s presentation by Chris Weigman: https://speakerdeck.com/chriswiegman/php-an-introduction-to-the-language-beneath-wordpress

How to Choose and Install a WordPress Theme

Meetup notes from August 18, 2014 Meetup Session.

To access the slide deck (that includes the various check lists and site tester) for “How to Choose and Install a WordPress Theme” please go to: http://presentations.handsonwp.com/category/how-to-choose-and-install-a-wordpress-theme.  For the complete notes for “How to Choose and Install a WordPress Theme” go to: http://handsonwp.com/series/how-to-choose-and-install-a-wordpress-theme/

 Additional information requested in last night’s Q&A

There a number of questions at last night’s meet up about Membership site themes and plugins. As Nick and I mentioned, the setting up and management membership sites is a topic worthy of a meet-up session of it’s own. In order to best answer the questions and give our members the best resources available I am including links to a series of Blogs and a POD-cast by Chris Lema. Chris has made a study of membership sites. In the spirit of full disclosure Nick and I sought Chris Lema expertise in planning and setting up a membership site we are currently building.

Lema’s blogs are well organized, well researched and carefully sited, and honestly the best body of work you are likely to find on the subjects of membership sites and eCommerce.

Yes, it is a lot of reading. Yes, for a while it might seem like information overload.

But this type of reading, and subject matter acquisition is what successful business owners / managers do every day — find a subject that is critical to your business process and learn from other people’s experience. Start-up capital burns too quickly to learn from your own mistakes. If you are thinking about building a membership site, read as much as you can from the folks who have successfully gone down that path.

 I want to start with the link to an April 2014 POD CAST produced by WPSessions. It is still available as a $24 download.

Learn about WordPress Membership Sites — POD-Cast produced by WPSessions

The session features Chris Lema, Shawn Hesketh (WP101 Videos) and Drew Stojny. This is POD cast is a couple of hours that ANYONE who is contemplating building and managing a membership site NEEDS to see. Nick and I had already done a considerable bit of research on our own, and we still came away with tons of new information and a list of additional points to take into consideration before moving forward with our site design. If you are completely new to the idea of membership sites, listening to this POD-cast might help you get a better idea of how to structure your requirements and let you know about some of the pitfalls of membership sites in general.

The following is a list of Chris Lema blogs that Nick and I have found to be very helpful in designing and building our own membership blog.

Comparing WordPress Membership Plugins – April 6 2014

The Best WordPress Membership Plugin in 2014 — July 30, 2014

Building a membership site with iThemes Exchange

 How the Lines at the DMV will help you choose a Membership Plugin —April 6, 2014

WordPress Membership Plugins & Payment Gateways — April 6, 2014

What if you don’t need a WordPress LMS plugin for your online course?

What is content dripping? —April 6 2014

What is the best WordPress membership plugin for me? — July 29, 2014

Can one WordPress membership site account have multiple logins?

WordPress membership sites take work – the myth of passive income

Managing a High Performance WordPress Membership Site

These are blogs concerning setting up eCommerce sites…

E-commerce plugins – choosing the right WordPress shopping cart plugin — April 6, 2014

Building a membership site with WooCommerce — April 6, 2014

 Easy eCommerce & Membership Sites using WordPress –April 2014

As you can see I have Chris Lema’s Blog Posts on the Internet equivalent of speed-dial – I subscribe to his Blog. If you are seriously considering building and maintaining a membership or eCommerce site I strongly suggest you do the same.

As to the questions about How to design and build a directory site using WordPress please read:

Create a Paid Directory using WordPress – June 27, 2013

We have also had good reports about Connections Business Directory

Nick is a fan of all things wpmudev. They offer premium plugins on their membership site and their support is superb.
His choice for a Directory site is wpmudev’s DIRECTORY plugin. Which will turn your site into a fully-featured, listings directory complete with ratings, reviews, payments and more.

As to questions about Downloading PDF’s from a site…

If you are charging for the download, see this Chris Lema Blog:
Selling Pay Per View Documents with WordPress

Forcing PDF Downloads

If you just want your site visitor to be able to download information like a product spec Nick has posted a blog with detailed directions at:http://handsonwp.com/knowledge-base/tips-tricks/file-management/forcing-pdf-downloads/

Hopefully that addresses all of the Q&A in detail. As this is a WordPress for beginner’s series we try to keep the main presentation “on-topic and at the beginner’s level.” Thanks to all those who were patient with their questions and were willing to stay after the main session to deal with special topic questions.

We hope to see you all again at next month’s WordPress for Beginner’s session: Best Practices for Effective Content Creation. We would also like to invite those of you who attended the beginners session who are interested in learning more to join us at Build a Sign on August 26th for “Hooks and Filters.” It is an intermediate topic, but one that will help you understand how plugins work with WordPress.

Building an Information Structure for your WordPress Site

This is part two, of a seven-part presentation series, structured to support those new to WordPress. The goal is to provide a contiguous set of WordPress Meetups designed to help attendees gain the skills to build and use a WordPress website. This series was developed in cooperation with the Four Points Chamber of Commerce.

This beginner’s session discusses how to plan your WordPress site and build it’s information architecture — your site’s navigation — to match that plan. This presentation will focus on the difference between a ‘Page’ and a ‘Post’, and how to use ‘Categories’ and ‘Tags’ to build your navigation structure.

We will also review how to use the WordPress linking strategy to give the search engine spiders clear and distinct paths to follow that will improve your site’s search engine rankings. The session closes with how to use a site maintenance schedule to keep your online business on track and making money. Bring your laptops and your questions! Rich Plakas will lead this class.

This is the second in a series of seven sessions designed to support those new to WordPress. The goal is to provide a contiguous set of WordPress Meetups designed to help attendees gain the skills to build and use a WordPress website. This series was developed in cooperation with the Four Points Chamber of Commerce. This session was first presented in August 2013 under the title of Sensible Site Navigation —Building an Information Structure and is being repeated based on membership requests

Building the information structure of  your WordPress site keeping the end in mind

Just because the WordPress features give you the capability to set up a complete WordPress site in 30-minutes doesn’t mean you should.

It is easier to do it right the first time then go back and rework, restructure. The great news is that Word- Press is such a powerful tool, changing your mind, reworking and restructuring, can be handled a magnitude easier than with the old-school static sites.

The time invested in planning and organizing your WordPress website will net a successful website that meets clearly identified goals and provides compelling content that draws your audience to your site again and again. In addition it will be easy to navigate and is attractively designed to complement the content.

You do not need to invest an inordinate amount of time planning your WordPress website. Some would-be website owners use the “Planning Process” to avoid the actual “Implementation Process.”

We advocate the middle path.

Plan.Do.Check.Act

 

 

 

 

PLAN your site

DO your site,

CHECK to see if the site is doing what you PLANNED

then ACT on the information your analysis has indicated.

A successful site is the product of continuous process improvement. The time you invest in the improvement process will help you develop a site that will invoke a positive response from search engines and help convert site visitors into customers.

 Your Website Is A Business Unit

Commit to treating your website as a business unit and follow a set schedule for updating content

Make sure that your website reflects and supports both your business plan and the marketing strategy you have set for your business.

To go directly to Sensible Site Navigation —Building an Information Structure Presentation Slide Deck:

http://presentations.pleiadesservices.com/category/building-an-information-structure-for-your-wordpress-site

To review the Creation and Organization of Pages go to: http://codex.wordpress.org/Pages

To review the Creation and Organization of Posts go to: http://codex.wordpress.org/Posts

Review of the Post Categories Screen: http://codex.wordpress.org/Posts_Categories_Screen

To review Linking Posts Pages and Categories go to: http://codex.wordpress.org/Linking_Posts_Pages_and_Categories

The guide to using the WordPress Menu system to Build a Site Navigation Organization can be found at: http://codex.wordpress.org/WordPress_Menu_User_Guide

One of the reasons we are so enthusiastic about WordPress as a solution for business websites is that there are so many Free resources available to the beginning user.

In addition to the Austin WordPress monthly meetups, you can find answers to most of your questions on the WordPress Codex [codex.wordpress.org]and if you are more of an audio/visual learner there are hundreds of videos at [http://wordpress.tv].

If you have questions between meetup you can always post them on the Austin WordPress Google Groups Forum: https://groups.google.com/forum/#!forum/wordpress-austin.

Next month we will present: How to Choose and Install a WordPress Theme.

How to Choose and Install a WordPress Theme

MeetUp Notes for 09.16.13

There are thousands of free themes available on the WordPress Theme Directory and that doesn’t even include premium themes and the option of creating a custom theme. With all those options in mind, choosing between all of these themes can be bewildering.

At our September 16th WordPress Beginners meeetup we discussed how to make smart choices when picking out a theme for your WordPress site.

We also examined how your theme relates to your site’s structure, purpose, and audience, and how to find a theme that offers you the right amount of custom options and features to best suit your needs.

The full presentation plus additional documentation notes are posted at:
How To Choose and Install a WordPress Theme

The October 21st WordPress Beginner’s Meetup will be: Best Practices for Effective Content Creation

Notes 4/23/13 WordPress Meetup: Make WordPress your Career!

This entry is part 2 of 9 in the series Meetup Meeting Notes

Make WordPress your Career!
April 23, 2013· 7:00 PM Build a Sign LLC

Are you a passionate WordPress user or developer?

Wondering how to successfully turn your hobby or part-time gig into your full-time job? Wanting to change careers? Or maybe you’re just getting started?

Our panel of WordPress folks will discuss how we have successfully made a career out of WordPress. Some of us are coders, some are designers, and some just enjoy helping people. Some of us work for ourselves, others work for companies or organizations. Our common denominator is that in some way, WordPress pays the bills! Expect to hear some stories, some best-practices, and how we’ve learned from mistakes along the way.

This is a great chance to figure out what’s hot in WordPress-land, learn what skills are most prized by employers, when it might be better to go freelance, and how to promote yourself and build your resume. We’ll have lots of time for discussion and questions along the way.

If you’re currently making your career with WordPress, we’d welcome you to join in the discussion as well.

And bring your business cards! You never know who you might meet! 🙂

PANEL DISCUSSION

Bill Erickson (BE) http://www.billerickson.net/ ; https://twitter.com/billerickson
WordPress (WP) Dev for 7 years
Started with a job at a university (A&M ); got into making changes on their site
Now he focuses on helping small business build sites
* * * Find services in that complement what you do * * *
Did Thesis —> moved to Genesis, which had an established community
Builds Genesis things that get promoted which drives traffic
Built CRM (Customer Relationship Model) on top
Used as
– PM tool
– to get Analytics
– track work to develop trends
– see what’s most profitable
– streamline your business
– work more effectively
and choose the better projects
Once you have more work than you can handle
you can prioritize more effectively
Billerickson.net —- Github…. CRM for free

Chris Wiegman (CW) – bit51.com https://twitter.com/ChrisWiegman/
Chris is a WordPress developer who has been writing code since the mid-90s; he is the developer behind the Better WP Security plugin.
Started in aviation
to be at the airport, he worked in IT
wrote the entire content management for airport
recession hit, so he went back to school
became a developer and in charge of computers
Joined St Edwards
developing on the side
–  plugins to secure WP sites
2008 began using WP
started own company bit51.com –
Now a Senior dev for springbox.com, primarily with WP

Brandon Kraft  (BK) – BrandonKraft.com; https://twitter.com/kraft
Geek and dork who loved computers in HS
Sociology major at Tulane
Ended up running all the computer things at school
Started full-time – co-ordination for non-profits then took over IT functions
Other non-profits started calling
– which released him of responsibility of a full time job to go on his own
– source of income is partially from retainer for non-profits (monthly/annual)
– speaks non-profit so an easy transition for him to communicate with his customers
Uses Genesis to build sites (not same category as Bill 😉 )
Advice –
* * *Find out what niche works for you * * *
– Make a website for yourself that’s great
– grow an online presence
* * *DON’T CHASE THE $$$$$$$ * * *
–  Could be an awful client
–  It’s more about the free time and not just the money

Jackie Dana (JD) – jackie@automattic.com
Works at Automattic (which runs WP) since July 2012
1990’s created websites, got burned out by how they were created in early days
Academic adviser at UT for 17 years; wanted a career change
Using WP at work, started attending Meetup for WP,
LOVED IT – especially the community
likes how WP allows the individual to easily create sites
met people, did low $ sites, consulting and training
Decided helping people how to use WP was her thing
Started doing it more and more.
Volunteered at SXSW, met people from Automattic,
after 2nd time, she decided she wanted a job with them
Got job as a happiness engineer
LOTS of jobs available for this not only Automattic, but places like WP Engine
Automattic also has other jobs –
– developers to write code, develop themes, add-ons, widgets, mobile team, etc.
– a huge # of uses to support – 30m users, x# of sites
– only 170 people at the company
– from different backgrounds in English, History, Math, some w/o BAs
Currently working on Terms of Service (TOS) overseeing 3 people
– handling complaints, problems

Karen Kreps (KK) – http://www.netingenuity.com/
Started in print publishing before internet working for a magazine on Madison Ave
hit glass ceiling…hated it
Joined a company (precursor to Prodigy) that needed video techs
Produced online interactive media there for 6 years
In 1993 relocated to Austin
Thought it was the end of her career
learned html 2
Created sites with Macromedia
Forsaw HTML was going to go much further than anyone thought
Launched Austin American Statesman’s first web site;
left after creating Austin360.com – mgmt change
Went to work  briefly for  IBM Interactive
Started own company
Built websites by hand
Trying to switch from table based to CSS
Was a drama major…so tech background isn’t needed
– self taught
Now uses WordPress
Focus on CONTENT and USER INTERFACE
Likes online content to be interactive
Does 1:1 WP coaching
Teaches users how to manage their own websites and precreate content
5 years ago came to a WP meet up
Been coming ever since

Davina Cooper (DC) -Cooper Desktop Designs of Texas  www.dddfw.com/
– a marketing services company serving small to medium businesses with their web, print or email needs.
Did Macromedia tech support til layoffs
Learned people wanted training for HTML, Macromedia, Flash
trained in the evening
Opened own business
Taught at college at the same time
Moved to Austin
Uses Drupal, WordPress
Targets small business
Low tech/no tech companies who want a web presence

Corey Ellis (CE) Corey@theseniorpartners.com
Entertainment Digital Strategist and Technologist. Live music connoisseur. Social and digital tech in music enthusiast.

Q&A
Q1 What’s the hardest thing that you have to do?
A1:
BE    General business, the non technical; all the stuff that isn’t building WP
Client work
Client Management, contracts
After finished projects, look back to see what can fixed via process, documentation
* * * constantly look at how you can improve the process * * *

Q2: Did you have legal assistance to put the contract together?
A2:
BE    Just at first (family of lawyers)
Contract is evolving
Goal of contract isn’t to secure myself. Education tool to ensure everyone’s responsibility
It’s a Statement of Work ( SOW )
Make as clear as possible
Timeline, Payments, what you pay for
Licenses
Terms of Agreement
Goal is to limit confusion
Never been sued/some haven’t paid
not worth suing (though could because of contract)
BK    Re-read the contract when things break down
KK      recommends BigAustin.org
– helps people run their own business
CW     – does very little freelance work
been lucrative doing plug-ins
– look at codecanyon, woo themes
– consider guest blogging – some people making $500/article
– see wpmu.org
JD     – n/a – doesn’t work with clients at all
– recommends SCORE
– meetup

Q3:  If a client comes to you, how do you differentiate yourself; what client works best for you?
A3:
BK      When they ask questions thinking about there website as part of their org
How will their website enhance there organization
The client that has done their homework
A client that knows what they want
Also, do your own research on the potential client
BE    There are a lot of red flags
A lot of failed projects before
Well what went wrong?
If doesn’t have a long term retainer; just projects
Do a 30 minute call before
Red flags may indicate
Not valuing you. Using you as a means to an end
Goal – to recognize a bad customer before it happens
KK     The customer doesn’t want to manage their website is one signal
– No interest in getting their hands wet
– don’t want them coming with a problem, and a solution they figured out and they want you to do that for them
– Do they want me to make content? Or do they have content
–  Best clients know their business, but don’t know how to present it online
some customers are like people who adopt a dog and don’t want to take it out for a walk

Q4:     How do you decide what to charge?
A4:
BK     changed over the years
look at billable hours, started a an entry-level manager
– working for non-profits, they want to hear pro-bono
charged $30/hr, client was ecstatic, knew was charging too little
– even if only 5 hrs of work, make sure the billable fills non-billable work that needs to be done
– gradually nudge up to see where the resistance is
– and that’ll indicate the high range of what to charge
BE     Depends on type of industry
Wants to provide quote based on value, not hours
Decide the types of industries you want
the better you get at your job, the less you make if charging by the hour.
– consider working on a project basis
– evaluate project of what they paid
– e.g., if charging by the hour and a 10hr project took only 5 hrs, the client will want their
money’s worth to use p the money, often creating a worst site
Analytics are important
Keep track of money you make on a project vs time.
Pick projects that make your the best money (not most)
The higher the quote, the more inaccurate the estimate
Smaller websites give you more $ for time
– found that bigger money – bigger problems
($1k-$10k- is more accurately estimated than the $10k+)
DC    – track, e.g, elance and review
often hear, but a friend of a friend’s nephew will do it for free
– how much do you need to make a living
– get as much info from customer to spec out what needs to be done
– consider what needs to be farmed out e.g, front end programming, content
– people will charge $15/hr.
– If you charge $40-$50 need to be convincing (know your worth)
CE     Value your time
be flexible
sometime you just want the work
some times will charge more for the more difficult client
will charge less if fun
BE    when lull in work, that’s when takes project shouldn’t have
KK    depends on how much it takes to build a website,
e.g., 4 page, set up structure
are there functions, plug ins
words – well written/compelling
communicate your value
does remote 1-on-1
depends on amount of hand holding…may make 3X’s longer
BK    use community –
a lot of Genesis developers to help
has a core group he turns to to ask questions like this
JD    Traditional rule of thumb
* * * There are 3 things to developing a website,
1) Fast     2) Cheap     3) Good
You can pick TWO

Q5:     What things MUST you do now to get started?
A5:
JD    Get as involved as you can in the community
BE    find a micro-niche
2 traits
1) contribute heavily to the WP community
– you’ll do better if you share your code
2) learn how to run a business
Learn business. Learn how to run a business
PROCESSES ARE KEY
DOCUMENTATION IS KEY
More to bakery than baking
Tenacity
KK    set up web site to show your portfolio w/ testimonials
BK    took longer because he hadn’t jumped into community earlier
– be adaptable –   changes every 4-6 months
– have fun – if you don’t like it, no one will want to be around you
DC    – know your skills .eg, if front end graphics
– a lot aren’t honoring front end people, WP is free, why should I pay for a designer?
last year only made $20k, not getting rich, but happy doing it.
CE    know what your good at
CW    biggest thing is to participate, e.g, Word Camp
– be willing to learn, many avenues to learn and give back
JD     WP is just software, but the the community that she loves
people participate in many different ways
Drupal has more people in sales than Automattic has in the entire company
Come to meetings – learn by osmosis
sit down with someone
use online tools, training
only way to learn is to do it.
BE    WP101
develop your own website
look at premium themes at StudioPress, Woo themes

Q6: What screensharing program do you use?
A6:
KK    Crossloop (free)
used several others like .yuuguu.com (not free anymore)

Q7: What is the Genesis ‘framework”
A7
BE    used to be just themes, then built parent themes with child themes where site specifics goes into for higher quality

Q8: Is there a WP in Spanish?
A8:
JD    WP can be written and is used in multiple language.
Don’t know if there’s a specific WP group that focuses just in WP for Spanish-speaking

Q9:     What resources did you use?
A9:
BK    SCORE
Big Austin
SBD (Highland Mall, San Marcos)
CE    Use your clients, if they’re a marketing firm, trade to learn about it
BE    helped that he had a business degree

Q10:    What percent of the panel writes content?
A10:
BE    zero, leave up to client
KK    sometimes client doesn’t
has to do all/be all
– attends Content Strategy Meetups

Panel:
Jackie Dana (JD) – jackie@automattic.com
Bill Erickson (BE) http://www.billerickson.net/ ; https://twitter.com/billerickson
Chris Wiegman (CW) – bit51.com https://twitter.com/ChrisWiegman/
Brandon Kraft  (BK) – BrandonKraft.com; https://twitter.com/kraft
Karen Kreps (KK) – http://www.netingenuity.com/
Davina Cooper (DC) -Cooper Desktop Designs of Texas  www.dddfw.com/
Corey Ellis (CE) Corey@theseniorpartners.com

Resources shared (for running business):
SCORE
BigAustin.org
SBD

Screensharing Program:
Crossloop.com

Top Sayings (of the evening):
…more to running a bakery than baking
…some customers are like people who adopt a dog and don’t want to take it out for a walk

Miscellaneous information:
WPMU – Selling article space for $500
wpaustin.com  – meeting notes
http://www.meetup.com/austinwordpress/

WordCamp – May 18th Sign up now  http://2013.austin.wordcamp.org/
See schedule, speakers, topics, sponsors only $20 includes lunch, a T-shirt and so much more

A BIG thanks to Garrett Petticrew for his help taking notes. These include the Q&A’s because there was much good information shared; this will not likely be a normal feature of meeting notes. Also, if there is anything omitted or wrong, please let me know so I can correct it. Thanks. Cathy

 

Notes: 4/17/13 WordPress Content Meetup “15 Minutes of Fame”

This entry is part 1 of 9 in the series Meetup Meeting Notes

4/17/13 WordPress Content Meetup “15 Minutes of Fame”

Quick Summary

Each presenter will be given  2 minutes to present their site (both built or are just beginning to build) and their mission statement (a 1-2 -3 sentence stating the site’s purpose. It’s the site’s identity, answering

  • Purpose
  • Goals
  • Values (Beliefs)

It provides clarity (both for the site creator and audience) to help develop and keep the site focused.
It’s like stating goals and objectives.  A motto is sometimes helpful.)

Important questions to answer include –
WHY a web site / WHAT are you trying to accomplish?
WHO is your audience?
WHAT kind of information will you be posting?
WHEN /HOW OFTEN will you be posting?

AUDIENCE comments to touch on:

  •  overall texture or aura of the website, such as the overall presentation, the use of colors/graphics, readability (not the editorial content or what’s written),
  • usability (site navigation), and in general, whether there
  • are other WordPress features, tools, or plugins that might enhance the users or even your experience.

The goal of reviewing sites is to be practical, helpful, and encourage good WordPress practices.

Sites reviewed:
1.  Live Love Create Repeat
http://livelovecreaterepeat.com/
– great site name
– yoga section seems to be separate
– different image on home page

2.  Texas State Independent Living Council
http://beta.txsilc.org/
– created as part of a project for non-profits/now needs changes
– user goal to find someone to help change out logo (make flatter); find out how to change menu colors from red/blue. etc. [suggest posting on https://groups.google.com/forum/?fromgroups#!forum/wordpress-austin, or  http://wpaustin.com/forums/
– put video in place of image on home page

3. Hospitality Industry Professionals – East West Hospitality Group – East West Hospitality Group
http://www.ewhospitality.com/
– already professional looking
– but images seem to be food oriented vs people/service
– concern about background color
– add call to action, e.g, get a strategic audit

4.   LibertarianChristians.com – Your #1 Christian Libertarian source on the Web
http://libertarianchristians.com/
– perhaps add more images of who’s behind the site to add legitimacy
– Facebook call to action was successful, but would like to bring forward topics
– perhaps switch out order of how these appear
– Welcome was wasted space

5.  Effective Marketing Strategies | Creating customer value
http://effectivemarketingstrategies.com/
– site looks generic and notn authentic; perhaps copy/pasted from other sites
– add logo
– home page image didn’t seem to reflect back on blog
– add linkage to business site

6.   Guy’s Business Process Consulting Site
– no web site yet / no domain/company name, etc.
– audience is small businesses; Goal:  to help them stay true to their original intent while incorporating business processes
– reviewed  a site that embodies some of these principles
Hot Dog Marketing – Marketing & Communication for Austin, TX Small Businesses
http://hotdogpr.com/

7.  Investa
http://investa.com/
– Goal – to attain new business while also helping investors understand news in the marketplace
–  Images don’t necessarily reflect back on who an investor might be (though images with females purportedly draw in readers)
– make the ‘blog’ more visible, since it’s an important part of the value-added research, e.g., above the What We Do tri-columns, add more cartoons, change the order of the tabs to also reflect this.
– a paid WP ‘professional’ who’s good can do this w/in a short time achieving results on a reasonable budget

Recommended reading:
Letting Go of the Words: Writing Web Content that Works (Interactive Technologies) by
Janice (Ginny) Redish (MBrophy recommended)
Don’t Make me Think! by Steve Krug (Derek recommended)